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Federal prosecutors in Chicago want 10-year prison term for cartel-linked ex-Mexican intel official Ivan Reyes Arzate

August 29, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Federal prosecutors in Chicago want 10-year prison term for cartel-linked ex-Mexican intel official Ivan Reyes Arzate

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Federal prosecutors in Chicago have requested that a federal judge impose above-the-guidelines 10-year sentence on former Mexican intelligence-unit commander Ivan Reyes Arzate for disclosing information to the Beltran Leyva cartel in exchange for cash.

Ivan Reyes Arzate, who worked with U.S. agents for years, warrants a far stricter punishment for the havoc he caused than the sentence of roughly three years recommended by sentencing guidelines, prosecutors argued in a court filing last week.

“In the world of narcotics investigations, one can hardly envision a more serious betrayal,” prosecutors said referring to the U.S.-trained Arzate, who was a primary source of contact for intelligence distribution between U.S. agencies and Mexican authorities.

Arzate’s Chicago lawyer, Joseph Lopez, requested a 17-month sentence, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Prosecutors say Ivan Reyes Arzatem tipped off Mexican drug cartels to sensitive intelligence

The former Mexican intel official has been behind bars in Chicago since early 2017, so with time served, that would mean he would be released almost immediately.

U.S. judges have tremendous discretion and aren’t bound by sentencing guidelines. In May, Arzate pleaded no contest to obstruction of justice charges. His sentencing is scheduled for August 29th.

Prosecutors’ filings revealed that intelligence leaks once led the U.S. DEA to suspend almost all of its operations in Mexico as agents attempted to flush out a cartel mole — who they say was Arzate.

Authorities allege that he used his access to U.S. information to help unmask someone informing on the gang. The person was later tortured and murdered. Arzate disputes the allegation that he informed the cartel about the informant.

The defense filing also noted that Arzate risked his life for years, including to help apprehended essential cartel figures, and claimed he lost his high-status police position and would likely have to become a carpenter when he goes back to Mexico.

“Arzate has received punishment,” the filing added.

An ex-member of the Beltran Leyva cartel, only known as “Witness A” in court documents, will testify at Arzate’s sentencing and describe Arzate’s cooperation with the cartel for at least ten years.

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